The Gypsies

Angus Fraser, Author
Angus Fraser, Author Blackwell Publishers $58.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-631-15967-4
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
British civil servant Fraser offers a thorough, scholarly survey of the origins and history of the Gypsies, the wandering pilgrims who arrived in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and gradually spread over Europe and beyond. In an academic but readable style, he writes of the Gypsies' linguistic and anthropological background, their migrations through Persia and Europe, the 15th-century persecution of them and their attempts to survive repressive legislation. In the 18th and 19th centuries, attitudes toward the Gypsies became somewhat more benign, though the Gypsies continued to resist assimilation. Fraser mentions that Gypsies joined the waves of immigrants to the United States but does not elaborate on their experiences here. After discussing Nazi repression and extermination of Gypsies, he addresses current conditions: migrations are spurred primarily by economic concerns, pentecostal Christianity is becoming popular and Gypsies are forming political organizations. Illustrations. (Dec.)